Doctor Who: The Murder Game Paperback – 7 Jul 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
I think this one works better than Ten Little Aliens (reissued last year for the 50th anniversary), which is over-egged, a bit arch, more plotty and with rather too many underdeveloped characters - excusable in this genre, perhaps, but it makes it more of an effort, rather than a pure pleasure.
Here you can just sit back and enjoy as the TARDIS lands in a fading hotel in space, just as a murder mystery game is starting...and (of course!) a very genuine murder is about to take place. I have always thought that Polly and Ben were the best double act of the Doctor's companions ever, and they play a very enjoyable and active part here. Patrick Troughton's Doctor is very fondly remembered, and here he even gets to wear drag!
A superb read - light but very engaging. Joy Swift's Original Murder Weekends frequently feature an actor who is a massive fan of Patrick Troughton's Doctor. I must recommend this to him (though I bet he's already got it!)...
The book reads just like a 60's 6 parter. Whether this is a good thing or not is entirely up to the reader but don't expect in depth characterisations or challenging story lines. Personally I quite like the simplistic novels, they hark back to a time where Doctor Who was just a really good story.
Talking of story The Murder Game breaks absolutely no new ground and the first half really isn't surprising at all. The TARDIS crew get an SOS call to a desolate space hotel but they arrive to find seemingly nothing wrong and the few guests that are there are taking part in a murder mystery game. Naturally this means real murders start taking place. This scenario has been done to death and it does feel like cliché after cliché but it is surprisingly enjoyable. The story does move on from that premise with the introduction of a race of space sharks (the Selachians) and the second half of the book does get less predictable.
Character wise it's a mixed bag. The TARDIS crew are spot on, Ben and Polly are given a huge role and there relationship is explored brilliantly. Likewise there is no question that the Doctor is Patrick Troughton, Steve Lyons has him down to a tee. However the supporting cast are barely even 2 dimensional, let alone 3. This was obviously going to happen when you are dealing with that many characters but a couple of them may as well have been called guest A and guest B. It's only a minor gripe though as Ben and Polly are the stars of the book.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The TARDIS arrives on a space station in 2146. Originally a luxury hotel, it has fallen on hard times and is being used to host a murder mystery hotel. However, someone is taking the "murder" aspect of the game far too seriously...
Waiting in the wings are the Selachians, an alien race with a serious axe to grind after years of persecution, who are after something in the hotel which will help them revenge their mistreatment. They are quite complex, rather than being simple killing machines that many alien races are depicted as in Doctor Who.
The novel features good portrayals of Ben and Polly, who show stronger feelings for each other than have otherwise been portrayed. This doesn't surprise me, as they more-or-less flirted with each other at various points.
While the story is not as complex as many Doctor Who novels, however this suits the period of the show in which this story is set. It doesn't require familiarity with the show to be enjoyed.
The second Doctor travels with two companions in this novel, Ben and Polly. I have never seen an episode with this Doctor but it simply doesn't matter. Even without being able to picture the second Doctor in my head, just knowing the Doctor and his personality was enough to quickly get me into this story.